Happy Mother’s Day: Negro Bar, Folsom & The Nesting Tree, Lincoln

I hope all of you mothers have had a wonderful special day. I received texts and calls from family members. We also had a delicious and filling brunch with Greg and Jess and the grandkids. So here I sit ready to talk and show you where my photography passion has taken me now.

I now know that even if the outing doesn’t give you great weather, clouds or scenery, there’s always a picture worth taking and processing. Negro Bar, a State park in Folsom was sort of a disappointment since it was crowded with people and there wasn’t a promise of a great sunset. But I walked around and in the short time we were there shot these images, including visitors, people kayaking and the historic Rainbow Bridge:

My next visit was a surprise one and stretched the limits of my walk around lens, 18 – 140 mm. Marlene and I were scrapbooking at Betty Carol’s home. During a breat she took us to a special tree in Lincoln. I call the tree the Nesting Tree because of all the nests and variety of birds in it. I’ve never seen anything like it. I really couldn’t capture anything good with the lens I had with me, so I went back the following Wednesday. This time I was ready with my F/4 300 mm prime lens! It’s amazing what you can see with a little extra reach. I found Great Egrets and Blue Herons. A few weeks later, I brought Laura to the tree. She caught even more with her 600 mm lens, and saw more species. Here’s what I captured:

So, when Jess asked me what I’ve been doing lately, I talked about photo outings. Yes, photography has become a good part of my life! Again, Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s all in a name: Folsom Zoo Sanctuary; Sacramento Zoo

I was ready with my debit and Sacramento Zoo membership cards in hand to pay for my visit at the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary only to be told that they have no affiliation with the Sacramento Zoo and couldn’t give me a discount! They were not a zoo, but a sanctuary!! That’s what’s in a name!!!

Marlene and I had visited the Folsom Zoo, in Folsom, once before and found it not too favorable for photography, but Ray set up this outing for our Tuesday group and off we went. I just wasn’t prepared for the difference between a zoo and sanctuary to be explained so explicitly and rudely. What makes one better than the other?

You might say that the sanctuary takes in animals that can’t be released into the wild while the zoo breeds animals into captivity. I find there’s a place for both. When you look at the amazment in children’s faces you understand that a zoo is where they learn about animals they may never get to see. I think it’s great that a sanctuary gives animals a home when they can’t be in the wild any longer, and their stories touch your heart. For me, there’s a place for both.

Getting back to why the Folsom Zoo is not a great place for photography, their cages are too thick. We can’t shoot through the thick metal and make it disappear. Knowing that, I just took pictures of the crowds, the beautiful landscaped and designed walkways and some animals not in caged enclosures.

Meanwhile, at the Sacramento Zoo, in Sacramento, there were so many children visiting the day we went. I couldn’t get close to some of the exhibits. Or, by the time I could take the shot, the animal was out of reach or went back inside.

So, here are a few images from both the zoo sanctuary (FZ) and the zoo (SZ)!

A bright spot in April: Crystal Hermitage Garden, Ananda Villiage

The tulips bloom only in April at the Crystal Hermitage Garden in Ananda Village in Nevada County. So, we waited for sunshine and no rain. We finally decided to go when there would be a possibility of sunshine, meaning partly cloudy with some sun. This resulted with some tulips open, but most shut.

But it was worth the trip. Planted each year, the gardens are always beautiful and attract visitors from all over to see the more than 17,000 plants. This quote was taken from one of their sites.
“We planted over 111 varieties of mid and late season Dutch bulbs this year,” said lead Gardener, Nancy Mair. “We blend tulips with a rainbow of complementary pansies, wisteria, rhododendrons, azaleas, peonies, dogwood trees and the fabulous cherry tree, so that guests enjoy a different garden in each terrace.”

I’ll admit that I was upset that after waiting, we still were under dark skys for most of our time there. But, as usual, it was a great experience. Until next April here are some of the images I took.